Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport

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Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport logo.png
SJU Diagram.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner Puerto Rico Ports Authority
Operator Aerostar Airport Holdings
Serves San Juan, Puerto Rico
Location Carolina, Puerto Rico
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 9 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 18°26′21″N 066°00′07″W / 18.43917°N 66.00194°W / 18.43917; -66.00194Coordinates: 18°26′21″N 066°00′07″W / 18.43917°N 66.00194°W / 18.43917; -66.00194
TJSJ is located in Puerto Rico
Location in Puerto Rico
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 10,400 3,170 Asphalt
10/28 8,016 2,443 Concrete
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 156,679
Passenger movement 8,448,172
Based aircraft 88
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]
Operations from the FAA[2]
passengers from the Puerto Rico Ports Authority

The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (IATA: SJUICAO: TJSJFAA LID: SJU) (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín, unofficially known as Isla Verde International Airport/Aeropuerto Internacional Isla Verde) is a joint civil-military international airport named for Puerto Rico's first democratically elected governor and located in Carolina, Puerto Rico, three miles (five km) southeast of San Juan. It is the busiest airport in the Caribbean region by passenger traffic. Over 4 million passengers board a plane at the airport per year according to the Federal Aviation Administration.[3]

The airport is owned by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and managed by Aerostar Airport Holdings, a public-private partnership which was awarded a lease by the government of Puerto Rico to operate and manage the airport for 40 years beginning in 2013.[4] SJU is the second international airport to be privatized in the United States and its territories, and, as of 2013, is the only currently privatized airport in the nation.[5] Taxis and rental cars can transport travelers to and from the airport. The airport serves as a gateway to the Caribbean islands.


SJU's Control Tower

Until 1955, Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (Isla Grande Airport) was Puerto Rico's main international airport. This began to change at the start of the jet age, when many of the airlines that served Puerto Rico were changing from propelled to jet aircraft. Isla Grande's 5,000-foot (1,500 m) runway was not long enough for jets, so in 1951 Governor Luis Muñoz Marin authorized construction of a new airport. The airport would be a major meeting point[clarification needed] for tourists and air cargo, and the home of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

The airport opened on May 22, 1955 in the area known as Isla Verde in Carolina, Puerto Rico. It opened with one runway (Runway 8/26), the old tower, which today is on the top of the Airport Hotel, three terminals, and parking for 200 cars. In the late 1960s construction of Runway 10/28 began; it was finished by 1972. In 1985 Governor Rafael Hernández Colón named the airport after Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rico's first democratically elected governor. The airport served as a Caribbean hub for Pan Am, Trans Caribbean Airways, Eastern Air Lines, and as a short lived focus city for TWA. It was also the hub of Puerto Rico's international airline, Prinair, from 1966 until 1984, when Prinair went bankrupt. In 1986 American Airlines and American Eagle established a hub to compete with Eastern Air Lines. American later ended hub operations due to flight capacity cuts and continued to operate a focus city until April 4, 2011. American Eagle service, operated by San Juan-based Executive Airlines with ATR-72s, was shut down on April 1, 2013. In the past, the airport has been served by now-defunct airlines like Caribair (based in San Juan), ATA Airlines, and Northwest Airlines.

Airport expansion[edit]

In 2008 the airport has been receiving major upgrades, including a new terminal (Terminal A), pavement and expansions, new light systems, press conference rooms, and new fast food restaurants along its corridors. New airlines have begun operating from San Juan to other international routes and destinations.

Over $400 million was used to expand the airport facilities through 2011. Terminal A opened on June 6, 2012 and is used by JetBlue Airways.[6]

In 2013, Agustín Arellano, CEO of Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC, announced major upgrades to the airport. JetBlue's new Terminal A will also receive improvements.


Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is Puerto Rico's main international gateway and its main connection to the United States. Domestic flights fly between Carolina and other local destinations, including Culebra, Mayagüez and Vieques. The airport is accessed from the San Juan district of Hato Rey, the island's financial district, via the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge. Old San Juan is accessed via the Baldorioty de Castro Expressway (PR-26).

Teodoro Moscoso Bridge connecting the city of San Juan to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Carolina

The airport serves as the Caribbean hub for Cape Air, Air Sunshine, and Seaborne Airlines, as well as a focus city for JetBlue Airways.[7] JetBlue is the largest carrier in San Juan, with 51 daily flights on an average day.[8]

Traffic statistics[edit]

Passenger statistics for SJU[9][10][11][12][13][14]
Year Total passengers  % Change
2001 9,453,564
2002 9,389,232 Decrease0.7%
2003 9,716,687 Increase3.5%
2004 10,568,986 Increase8.8%
2005 10,768,698 Increase1.9%
2006 10,506,118 Decrease2.4%
2007 10,409,464 Decrease0.9%
2008 9,378,924 Decrease9.9%
2009 8,245,895 Decrease12.1%
2010 8,491,257 Increase3.0%
2011 7,993,381 Decrease5.9%
2012 8,448,172 Increase5.7%
2013 8,343,636 Decrease1.2%
2014 8,600,413 Increase3.1%

Terminals, airlines and destinations[edit]

Destinations with direct service from SJU

Luis Muñoz Marín Airport has one main terminal building with four concourses and a separate terminal with one concourse. Terminal B reopened after a $130 million renovation in December 2014, with Delta, United, Southwest, and Spirit as its tenants (with all operations moved in by February 2015).[15] After renovation of Terminal B is complete, Terminal C is expected to close, and is planned to reopen in December 2015; no tenants have been announced so far. Both terminals will feature high-end retail stores and new restaurants, as well as automated baggage scanners currently used only by six other airports in the mainland U.S.

Airlines Destinations Ticketing terminal1
Air Antilles Express Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre
Seasonal: Sint Maarten (begins July 11, 2015) [16]
Air Canada Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson D
Air Europa Madrid D
Air Flamenco Culebra, Vieques A
Air Sunshine Saint Thomas, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda, Anguilla, Dominica-Melville Hall, Nevis, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda A
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York-JFK D, E
Avianca Bogotá D
Cape Air Anguilla, Culebra, Mayagüez, Nevis, St. Croix, Saint Thomas, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda A
Condor Frankfurt D
Copa Airlines Panama City D
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
InterCaribbean Airways Providenciales, Puerto Plata A
JetBlue Airways Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, New York-JFK, Newark, Orlando, Punta Cana, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo-Las Américas, St. Croix, Sint Maarten, St. Thomas, Tampa, Washington-National A
LIAT Antigua, Dominica-Melville Hall A
Seaborne Airlines Anguilla (begins April 30, 2015), Dominica-Melville Hall, Fort-de-France, La Romana, Nevis, Pointe-à-Pitre, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo-Las Américas, St. Croix, Saint Kitts, Saint Thomas, Sint Maarten, Tortola D
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Houston-Hobby
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Orlando B
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Fort Myers (begins May 3, 2015),[17] Minneapolis/St. Paul D
Tradewind Aviation Anguilla, Nevis, Saint Barthélemy A
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark
Seasonal: Cleveland, Washington-Dulles
US Airways Charlotte, Philadelphia D
Vieques Air Link Vieques A
WestJet Toronto-Pearson D

1Ticketing counters for Terminal C airlines are currently located in Terminals A and D.

Charter Airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air France Seasonal: Pointe-à-Pitre [18]
Air Sunshine Anguilla, Dominica-Melville Hall, Nevis, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, and many other destinations
Falcon Air Seasonal: Cancún, Punta Cana
Fly BVI Ltd - Caribbean Air Charter Anegada, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Insel Air Seasonal: Punta Cana
Miami Air Seasonal: Punta Cana
M&N Aviation Depends on Operator
Rainbow International Airlines Anguilla
Swift Air Seasonal: Havana[19]
World Atlantic Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, Punta Cana

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest U.S. Routes from SJU (outbound only)
(January 2014 – December 2014)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 New York City, NY (JFK) 638,240 American, Delta, JetBlue
2 Orlando, FL (MCO) 440,180 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
3 Miami, FL 360,350 American
4 Fort Lauderdale, FL 339,680 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
5 Atlanta, GA 304,270 Delta, Southwest
6 Philadelphia, PA 182,260 US Airways
7 Newark, NJ 169,690 JetBlue, United
8 Chicago, IL 152,990 American, JetBlue, United
9 Tampa, FL 152,580 JetBlue, Southwest
10 Charlotte, NC 142,360 US Airways
Busiest international (non U.S.) routes from SJU (outbound only)
(January 2013 – December 2013)[21]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 115,538 American Eagle, JetBlue
2 Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands 104,766 Air Sunshine, American Eagle, Cape Air, JetBlue, Seaborne
3 St. Croix, US Virgin Islands 73,971 American Eagle, Cape Air, JetBlue, Seaborne
4 Panama City, Panama 72,087 Copa Airlines
5 Tortola, British Virgin Islands 61,667 Air Sunshine, American Eagle, Cape Air, Seaborne
6 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 59,034 American Eagle, JetBlue, charter airlines (26,073)
7 Caracas, Venezuela 37,622 American Airlines
8 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten 35,543 JetBlue
9 Santiago, Dominican Republic 18,789 American Eagle, JetBlue
10 Frankfurt, Germany 12,602 Condor

Military/cargo ramps[edit]

Military ramp[edit]

Cargo services[edit]

Airlines Destinations
ABX Air Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Greensboro
Air Cargo Carriers Aguadilla, Antigua, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Tortola
Air Sunshine Saint Thomas, Tortola, Vieques, Virgin Gorda, Anguilla, Dominica-Melville Hall, Nevis, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Ameriflight Aguadilla, Aruba, Barbados, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
Amerijet International Miami, Port-au-Prince
Avianca Cargo Bogotá, Miami
Cargolux Atlanta, Bogotá, Luxembourg, Maastricht
Contract Air Cargo Antigua
DHL operated by ABX Air Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Greensboro
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Aero Expreso
Miami, Panama City
FedEx Express Memphis, Miami, Campinas
FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo Antigua, Pointe-a-Pitre, Ponce, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Tortola
M&N Aviation Depends on Operator
Skyway Enterprises St. Maarten
UPS Airlines Jacksonville, Louisville

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On December 31, 1972, baseball star Roberto Clemente and his companions died when their DC-7 crashed soon after takeoff from Isla Verde during a relief flight bound for Nicaragua. Neither the bodies of the victims nor the plane's wreckage were ever found.[citation needed]
  • On June 27, 1985, an American Airlines DC-10-10 registered N129AA operating Flight 633 to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with 257 passengers on board aborted take-off from runway 8 after a loud rumbling sound was heard by the crew as the airplane approached V1. Unable to stop the aircraft on the runway, the aircraft ended up nose-first in the lagoon at the end of the runway. A nose gear tire blowout was suspected. There were no fatalities, and aircraft returned to service six months later.[22]
  • On July 29, 1986, a Borinquen Air Douglas C-53D registered N27PR crashed into a lagoon on approach. The aircraft was on a cargo flight to Golden Rock Airport, Saint Kitts and Nevis, when the starboard engine failed shortly after take-off and the crew decided to return to Carolina. One of the two crew members was killed,[23] the other was seriously injured.[24]
  • On March 1, 1989, a Borinquen Air Douglas C-49J registered N28PR ditched on approach following a failure of the port engine.[25] Although the landing gear was retracted, the crew did not feather the propellor. This resulted in increased drag which made flight impossible.[26] The aircraft was on an international cargo flight from Golden Rock Airport, Saint Kitts and Nevis.[25]
  • On September 17, 1989, a Tol Air Services Douglas C-47A registered N100DW was damaged beyond economic repair by Hurricane Hugo.[27]
  • On July 9, 1998, an American Airlines Airbus A300B4-605R registered N80057 operating flight 574 had a fire in the No. 1 engine shortly after takeoff from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. The airplane sustained minor damage. The captain, first officer, 7 flight attendants, and 215 passengers were not injured. Twenty-eight passengers reported minor injuries during the post-landing emergency evacuation.[28]
  • On September 24, 1998, a Trans-Florida Airlines Convair 240-13 registered N91237 had an engine problem on take-off. It attempted to return to the airport, but lost altitude and was forced to land in a salt water lagoon some 2 miles (3.2 km) short of the runway. Though the aircraft was written off, the two crew and one passenger were uninjured.[29]
  • On April 4, 2001, a Roblex Aviation Douglas DC-3A registered N19BA ditched in the ocean after suffering a double engine failure while on a local training flight. Both crew members escaped. The aircraft sustained minor damage.[30][31]
  • On May 9, 2004, an American Eagle ATR-72 operating flight 5401 crashed in San Juan, Puerto Rico after the captain lost control of the aircraft while landing. Seventeen people were injured, but there were no fatalities.[32]
  • On August 9, 2014, a JetBlue Airbus A321 operating flight 704 to JFK International Airport, New York had to abort takeoff after one of the engines caught fire. All 186 passengers were evacuated from the aircraft. Two women were slightly hurt during evacuation.[35]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The airport is featured in Hunter S. Thompson's novel The Rum Diary.
  • In the 1982 movie Conexión Caribe, music group Los Chicos arrived at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport from the Dominican Republic on board an Oceanair airplane.
  • Music group Menudo recorded a music video for their song "Claridad", in 1981 at the nearby Isla Verde Beach in Piñones. A Lockheed L-1011 aircraft is seen landing at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in the video.
  • The airport is seen in several scenes of action film Illegal Tender, where a Puerto Rican youngster flies to the Island from the United States several times.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for SJU (Form 5010 PDF), effective March 15, 2007
  2. ^ Air Traffic Activity System
  3. ^ CY 2010 Passenger Boarding[dead link]
  4. ^ "Puerto Ricans protest deal with Mexican firm to run airport". EFE. February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Sechler, Bob (February 26, 2013). "Puerto Rico Airport to Go Private". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "JetBlue | Help". Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  7. ^ "JetBlue | Investor relations | Press Releases". Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2001–2006 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  10. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2002–2007 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  11. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport 2008–2009 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  12. ^ Passenger Movement LMM International Airport Jul 2009 – Jun 2011 Puerto Rico Ports Authority
  13. ^ Carga y pasajeros aéreos y marítimos Instituto de Estadísticas de Puerto Rico
  14. ^ Información Financiera Aeropuertos del Sureste
  15. ^ "New Airport Terminal Opens in San Juan". Caribbean Journal. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "San Juan, PR: Luis Munoz Marin International (SJU)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Air Carriers : T-100 Segment (All Carriers)". 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ NTSB/AAR-86/01/SUM
  23. ^ "N27PR Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  24. ^ "NTSB Identification: MIA86MA217". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "N28PR Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  26. ^ "NTSB Identification: MIA89FA096". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  27. ^ "N100DW Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Aviation Safety Network Retrieved November 27, 2006
  30. ^ "N19BA Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  31. ^ "MIA01IA110". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Crash During Landing, Executive Airlines Flight 5401, Avions de Transport Regional 72–212, N438AT, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 9, 2004" (PDF). Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ Crash: Jet One Express CVLP at San Juan on Mar 15, 2012, engine trouble
  34. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  35. ^ [1]

External links[edit]